A few more minutes and the show would end.Yet more and more questions have popped up in my mind that were longing to be answered. It was like my spirit was saying, “Go ahead; go head.”
By Melvin Camasis
One October night in 1998, while I was busy talking on the phone with someone I cared for, my father was watching closely a familiar television station show. The very familiar voices in it surrounded the background and overwhelmed the silence.
I overheard a question raised by a studio audience to the host of the show. It got my attention, not noticing that I haven’t been giving much focus on the one I was talking to on the phone. My attention was diverted to that religious program where the audience asked questions and got their answers on-the-spot, based on the Bible.
I got irritated by the words that were coming from the person on the phone. She said that what I was watching may give way for us to be separated for they are a strong family believers of Catholicism.Ignoring what she was saying, I told her that there would never be a problem as I’ll just talk to her tomorrow; she should get some rest, and sleep early for the meantime.
Now, without any more distractions, I could watch the program, I thought to myself.I got closer to the TV beside my father and listened to what answers would be given by the man who became famous for saying “Basa” (Read it).
All the questions asked were easily being answered! While watching, you would yourself seem like having some actual interaction with him because your own questions about faith, salvation, God, Christ and the Bible would pop-up in your mind, finally finding some realization that they are also being answered.
A few more minutes and the show would end.Yet more and more questions have popped up in my mind that were longing to be answered. It was like my spirit was saying, “Go ahead; go ahead.”I asked my father and he told me, “Well, that was what I wanted to ask also.”
That night, I decided to go to that show in the next live broadcast and pose my questions personally to the host.I wanted it to be answered because it kept on bugging me that whole night and also the following day.Then Friday came and at last I can have peace of mind.
I went to the venue, outside of Robinson’s Galleria Ortigas, in the missile silo-like staircase going down.Having passed by some people wearing white-and-blue uniforms in smiles seemed to impress that something good was going to happen.
Another group of people in dark blue uniform greeted and attended to the guests leading them to their seats and entertained them while the program was not yet starting.They were also saying that if people wanted to ask questions, they should be listed.I was fortunate enough to be among the first ten of people to ask questions.
While waiting, another set of people came out in blue-and-cream uniforms. They went up front the stage preparing to sing as it was now the start of the show.The piano begun playing and the choir started to sing.They sung a new, unfamiliar song – much like angelic voices rising in the air.
As the singing continued, the panelists of the show showed up one by one and proceeded to the table up front. Three people, I was to learn later on as Bro. Josel Mallari, Bro. Danny Navales, and Sis. Luz Cruz, smiled and talked to the staff, while the people in blue uniforms talked to the guests.
And then came the man that I wanted to see, the man I came for answers to my questions – Bro. Eliseo Soriano.I felt very glad looking at him from a distance.You can feel his presence, and see the overwhelming smiles from all the people in the studio.In that moment, you can really tell that he is a man of God even when he is not speaking yet – from the spirit that he emits.
The last song was over and the choir stepped out of the small platform.Bro. Josel greeted and welcomed everyone from the television viewers and studio guests and introduced the hosts in the panel, until it was Bro. Eli’s turn. They continued discussing the topic.Everybody was amazed how he answered the questions being asked!
My turn has come but I was feeling nervous. Cold sweat bathed my whole body; I was short of breath and my mouth was dried-up.Bro. Josel called my name.I knew everyone was watching, including my family at home.
For the first time, speaking to the man with unequalled knowledge of the Bible given by God, my senses were wide awake, not letting anything pass from the words he spoke, telling myself that this was a one-time experience only.
I raised my first question.“If a member of the Church of God had long stopped attending services, can he come back again to continue serving God?”Bro. Eli answered, “Yes, he can still come back to continue serving the Lord, if he has not committed the sins in the Spirit willfully, and if he is accepting and repenting that he will not do the things that he had done unknowingly, or because of the circumstances that surrounded the act itself; he can be forgiven.”I was so pleased to hear that answer because that was about someone that I loved.
Then my second question was, “How can a man know God’s commandments and obey them and attain salvation?”Bro. Eli answered, “First, you should find the true Church, and the man who speaks the words of God.He will answer all the questions right then and there, getting it from the Bible.Then get affiliated yourself: be indoctrinated and be baptized.”
Up to the last words that were uttered, we both wore that smile of contentment.And from there I decided to be indoctrinated and the session started after two days.
That was my encounter with the man of God – an acquaintance I will never forget.A story of mine that I will cherish for the rest of my life.